You have just graduated high school, or are just about to, and are debating whether or not college is right for you. While many people feel that college has many advantages and is the obvious choice after graduation, there are some disadvantages to attending as well. Take your time to weigh both options and don't feel rushed to make a decision.
Advantage: Preparation for Tougher Job Requirements
Throughout most of the 21st century a high school diploma was sufficient to obtain a job. Many companies had their own training programs and employed their workers for many years. Because of changes in the global job market, employers are looking for hires that come fully trained in the profession. Jobs are changing constantly and top jobs ten years from now don't even exist yet. A college education will help you meet these tougher job requirements.
Even though you initially spend a large sum of money to begin your college education, you most likely will earn it back with the increased pay you receive from having a degree. According to Susan Demas, "College graduates, on average, make a whopping one million dollars more in lifetime earnings than those with a high school diploma."
You not only have more job options once you get your degree, you now also have many options of how you want to obtain your degree. Colleges and universities have become very flexible in their programs, offering online classes, semi-online classes, night and weekend classes, and traditional classes.
College is expensive. Most people do not have enough money to pay for their college education upfront, requiring them to take out loans. You may go out into the job field in debt. Student loans usually have a grace period of six months; if you don't find a job in that amount of time, you may end up having to make high payments without having a paycheck.
Disadvantage: You Don't Always Need a Degree
Many people are deciding to be entrepreneurs. If you are one of these people, a degree may not be necessary. You may want to invest the money you would have spent on your degree on going into business.
Disadvantage: Delaying the Real World
If you decide not to attend college, you are able to get out into the real world to work, travel or volunteer. While you are able to do some of this in college, it is just a taste of everything there is to offer out there. There are programs for high school graduates that have many benefits, such as Peace Corps, Mission Year, study abroad and internships.
Jody Zambrano is an international teacher who has lived in Minnesota and Ecuador. She graduated from Bethel University with a B.A. in teaching English as a second language K-12. She began publishing while travel writing and blogging in Ecuador. Her areas of expertise include travel in Ecuador, K-12 education and holistic nutrition.